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The Godfather
Year:
1972
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
9.2
Director:
Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone
Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone
James Caan as Santino 'Sonny' Corleone
Richard S. Castellano as Young Peter Clemenza
Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen
Sterling Hayden as Capt. McCluskey
John Marley as Jack Woltz
Richard Conte as Don Emilio Barzini
Al Lettieri as Virgil 'The Turk' Sollozzo
Diane Keaton as Kay Adams Michelson
Abe Vigoda as Sal Tessio
Talia Shire as Connie Corleone Rizzi
Gianni Russo as Carlo Rizzi
John Cazale as Fredo Corleone
Storyline: When the aging head of a famous crime family decides to transfer his position to one of his subalterns, a series of unfortunate events start happening to the family, and a war begins between all the well-known families leading to insolence, deportation, murder and revenge, and ends with the favorable successor being finally chosen.
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Reviews
The perfect mobster movie and much more
The Godfather is a film of undeniable triumph; everything from the set to the sound and lighting, the score to the amazing cast, is perfect and Francis Ford Coppola's vision does justice to Mario Puzo's stylish crime novel, with the author partnering with Coppola on the screenplay. The film is a masterpiece of acting and direction, with Coppola's influence clear, and the work of stars such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Robert Duvall centre-stage in a beautifully dark and corrupt tale of a powerful Italian crime family. Never has the Mafia been better depicted in cinema, and I opine never will it be again.
2017-07-29
The Finest American Cinema Has To Offer
It has been said so many times that it seems cliché, but I wil continue to say it. The Godfather is one of he greatest movies ever made. Words cannot express how well the film combines all the elements a film needs, to be good. The acting is top notch, the cinematography is beautiful, the filming locations and sets are perfect, the sound is great, the music is excellent... I could talk about how great this movie is for hours. Francis Ford Coppola has a clear vision for this movie, and is expertly brought to life.

The beginning of the film starts out at the wedding of Don Vito Corleone's daughter, Connie. At the wedding reception we are introduced to the many of the members of the Corleone crime family, however not all of them are part of the "family business". At the wedding, Vito's youngest son, Michael, tells his then girlfriend, Kay, that he was not like his family. Throughout the rest of the film, we see Michael Corleone transform into the very thing he claims he hates. It's an excellent example of how character growth should be done.

From the intriguing beginning where we find Vito Corleone being asked for favors, to the climatic ending where Michael finishes his transformation, The Godfather is a landmark film in American cinema.
2015-02-13
Cinema at its best
What's to say about this movie that hasn't been said already. Pure cinema magic. The casting is superb, the character development is superb, the acting is first class, coupled with the legendary soundtrack a true masterpiece.

From the script to the whole dialogue and interactions between the characters the attention to detail is stunning and I wish more modern movie makers would take the time to build and develop the characters like this movie does.

From the opening scene, when Bonasera is looking for revenge for the beating of his daughter, to the closing scene when Kay sees Michael crowned as the Don and Neri closes the door, the movie just flows seamlessly from act to act. Coupled with the legendary soundtrack

The scene where Sonny, Michael, Tessio, Hagen and Clemenza are discussing hitting Solozzo is pure gold. As they all sit around nonchalantly discussing murder, before Michael pipes up and tells them how if they arrange a meeting he will kill them both is so just so well acted, that you actually believe these guys are gangsters.

A real example of great story telling transferred to film.
2015-12-22
The Godfather (1972)
Taking a best-selling novel of more drive than genius (Mario Puzo's The Godfather), about a subject of something less than common experience (the Mafia), involving an isolated portion of one very particular ethnic group (first-generation and second-generation Italian-Americans), Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment.

The Godfather, which opened at five theaters here yesterday, is a superb Hollywood movie that was photographed mostly in New York (with locations in Las Vegas, Sicily, and Hollywood). It's the gangster melodrama come of age, truly sorrowful and truly exciting, without the false piety of the films that flourished forty years ago, scaring the delighted hell out of us while cautioning that crime doesn't (or, at least, shouldn't) pay.

It still doesn't, but the punishments suffered by the members of the Corleone Family aren't limited to sudden ambushes on street corners or to the more elaborately choreographed assassinations on thruways. They also include lifelong sentences of ostracism in terrible, bourgeois confinement, of money and power, but of not much more glory than can be obtained by the ability to purchase expensive bedroom suites, the kind that include everything from the rug on the floor to the pictures on the wall with, perhaps, a horrible satin bedspread thrown in.

Yet The Godfather is not quite that simple. It was Mr. Puzo's point, which has been made somehow more ambiguous and more interesting in the film, that the experience of the Corleone Family, as particular as it is, may be the mid-twentieth-century equivalent of the oil and lumber and railroad barons of nineteenth-century America. In the course of the ten years of intra-Mafia gang wars (1945-1955) dramatized by the film, the Corleones are, in fact, inching toward social and financial respectability.

For the Corleones, the land of opportunity is America the Ugly, in which almost everyone who is not Sicilian or, more narrowly, not a Corleone, is a potential enemy. Mr. Coppola captures this feeling of remoteness through the physical look of place and period, and through the narrative's point of view. The Godfather seems to take place entirely inside a huge, smoky, plastic dome, through which the Corleones see our real world only dimly.

Thus, at the crucial meeting of Mafia families, when the decision is made to take over the hard drug market, one old don argues in favor, saying he would keep the trade confined to blacks—"they are animals anyway."

This is all the more terrifying because, within their isolation, there is such a sense of love and honor, no matter how bizarre.

The film is affecting for many reasons, including the return of Marlon Brando, who has been away only in spirit, as Don Vito Corleone, the magnificent, shrewd old Corleone patriarch. It's not a large role, but he is the key to the film, and to the contributions of all of the other performers, so many actors that it is impossible to give everyone his due.

Some, however, must be cited, especially Al Pacino, as the college- educated son who takes over the family business and becomes, in the process, an actor worthy to have Brando as his father; as well as James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Al Lettieri, Abe Vigoda, Gianni Russo, Al Martino, and Morgana King. Mr. Coppola has not denied the characters' Italian heritage (as can be gathered by a quick reading of the cast), and by emphasizing it, he has made a movie that transcends its immediate milieu and genre.

The Godfather plays havoc with the emotions as the sweet things of life—marriages, baptisms, family feasts—become an inextricable part of the background for explicitly depicted murders by shotgun, garrote, machine gun, and booby-trapped automobile. The film is about an empire run from a dark, suburban Tudor palace where people, in siege, eat out of cardboard containers while babies cry and get underfoot. It is also more than a little disturbing to realize that characters, who are so moving one minute, are likely, in the next scene, to be blowing out the brains of a competitor over a white tablecloth. It's nothing personal, just their way of doing business as usual.

THE GODFATHER (MOVIE)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola; written by Mario Puzo and Mr. Coppola, based on the novel by Mr. Puzo; director of photography, Gordon Willis; edited by William Reynolds, Peter Zinner, Marc Laub, and Murray Solomon; music by Nino Rota; production designer, Dean Tavoularis; produced by Albert S. Ruddy; released by Paramount Pictures. Running time: 175 minutes.
2014-09-08
Very Average Film. Very Overrated
Marlon Brando's acting as the Godfather is sublime and this film is worth watching for that.

However I did find the film very long-winded and at times boring. I liked the slow progression of the storyline and understand why Francis Ford Coppola did the film in the way he did. It's just that I felt the film was lacking something. It could have done with a bit more excitement or suspense to make the film more gripping.

Lets just say I watched this film about a year ago and I still haven't seen The Godfather 2, and I am in no hurry to either.

7/10. Average film. Worth watching to say that you have seen it.
2013-09-23
Very overrated - yet pretty remarkable. Great film, in ways, yes, but not the greatest film ever.
As "great" as the film is --- you can't help but realise how overrated and over-talked-about it really is. It's like it "must be" on every top 3, 5, and/or 10 list of "best films" or "all-time greatest films" - when in all honesty, I don't think it should be. I actually prefer its sequel, The Godfather Part II.

The Godfather is a very good film - but I don't think it's as good as it's said to be. It has good acting, nonetheless, and outstanding directing. But after you've succumb to its somewhat impressive acting and directing, you'll realise it's merely a boring film with slow scenes that are difficult to draw you in.

People actually list this film as "the greatest film ever made" - Well, I can see it's an absolute classic with top-notch acting and directing... and that's it! It's no more. The second one is better - although it's merely the same (good acting, good directing, etc.) but I just think there are a few things that make Part II better.

Praise was looked towards Marlon Brando's influential, and extremely grasping performance - and so it should. Pachino was great too, of course. There are many fantastic and inspiring things about the film - but that being said, there are many other things I find boring, slow, and inpatient about it. However, it is a good film, overall. Just too overrated is all.

I would rate it 7.5 or 8.0 out of 10; whereas I would rate the second one an higher rating of 9.5 out of 10. Maybe it's just each to their own, and it's everyone's own opinion. You like what you like. But it is, nonetheless, a remarkable achievement - I just wouldn't class it as one of the greatest films ever. The second one, maybe, yes, but I prefer films such as The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the original Star Wars films.

7.5/8.0 out of 10.
2014-07-07
Stands the Test of Time
I have to be honest - I first watched this at about 19 years old, and I did not like it much. I thought it was slow, and I missed a lot of the subtleties throughout the movie.

However, having watched it recently at 32, I am more appreciative of the slow-burn classic that this movie is. The acting is superb, and it feels like everything - even scenes, time periods that are left out of the movie - is intentional. The sequel makes this movie experience even better, as it once again makes you ponder the unknown gap between Part 1 and Part 2. Maybe that's addressed in the novels, I don't know.

Furthermore, this movie is complete with an epic finale that still blows my mind. I get so sick of movies that have that 'Stephen King Fizzle' nowadays!
2017-07-28
"I never wanted this for you"
A trip into the bizarre world of people who demand a "yes" when they make a request -- or someone or something you love will die.

Marlon Brando creates an unforgettable character in Don Corleone, the patriarch and "godfather" of a New York crime family that thrives on such enterprises as gambling and prostitution.

Corleone lives in a world of quid pro quo -- if he does you a favor, and one day wants a "service" from you, you must drop everything and do exactly as he wants or you will probably lose your life.

The movie opens at the lavish wedding of Corleone's only daughter, Connie (Talia Shire, a sister of director Francis Ford Coppola). Various judges and politicians who had been invited are not in attendance, but they have sent gifts. The heyday of the don is on the wane and big questions arise as to how the future will turn out.

When drug kingpin Sollozzo (Al Lettieri) invites the Godfather to get involved in the highly lucrative drug trade, Corleone commits the act that he refuses everybody else -- he says no. Perhaps this is another sign that the don's glory days are over. Did he really believe that he could get away with his refusal? A mafia war ensues that doesn't end until there's a new crime king in place -- the Don's youngest son, Michael (Al Pacino).

"The Godfather" beautifully creates the arc of Michael's evolution as a thug. He starts out as the family's first college graduate, a decorated hero returning from World War II. Michael openly describes the strong-arm tactics of his family to the girlfriend he has brought to the wedding. "That's my family, Kay (Diane Keaton). That's not me."

However, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. And, once the Don is riddled with bullets one day while picking out some fruit at a neighborhood stand, Michael begins taking the reins, beginning somewhat tentatively when he guns down Sollazzo while dining with him at an Italian restaurant and gaining sangfroid and confidence to the point he orchestrates the assassinations of all the Corleone's enemies in one fell swoop while he is "standing godfather" to Connie's first child and renouncing Satan as part of a baptism ritual.

The Corleones have some good, old-fashioned values but they take them to extremes. Sure, it's good to ask nicely for what you want. However, when someone like Hollywood studio mogul Jack Woltz (John Marley) says no to an offer to make an undeserving Corleone protégé the star of a film, Woltz wakes up the next morning next to the severed head of his prize racehorse.

The Corleones don't believe in such elements of the social contract as waiting your turn, picking your battles, and using reason to avoid murder (as when Michael assures his turncoat brother-in-law Carlo (Gianni Russo)-- "Please, Mike, don't do this" -- that he wouldn't have him killed. "You think I'd make a sister a widow? I'm godfather to your son, Carlo." Yet, in the very next frame, he has the traitor garroted in the car that was to ferry him to the airport and a new life in Las Vegas.

The Corleones abhor dissent and any airing of the family's dirty laundry. Their marriages are portraits of dysfunction: women and children reap the benefits of ill-gotten gains but never speak of them. Son Santino (James Caan) is a violent philanderer. Michael, after having returned to the US and married his girlfriend Kay, blatantly lies to her in denying that he is responsible for the murder of Carlo.

A beautiful interlude in Sicily, to which Michael flees after the restaurant shoot-out, serves as a kind of intermission. There, Michael experiences the "thunderbolt" of falling in sudden love with a traditional local girl, whose father he strong-arms into allowing a courtship that culminates in marriage, treachery, and murder. Michael never says a word, but subsequently returns to New York. The scene seems a little commentary on the transitory nature of happiness: At any moment, it can blow up in your face.

"The Godfather" seems perfectly cast, filmed, and performed. Accompanied by one of the all-time best film scores, by Nino Roti.
2017-06-17
Allow "The Godfather" to make you an offer you can't refuse
"The Godfather" has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the greatest films of all time. Is that a fair assessment? After re-watching the film recently, I'd say yes.

The 'godfather' of the title is Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), the aging head of the Corleone crime family. His time is coming to an end and some of his rivals would like to precipitate that end. When an attempt is made on the Don's life his sons follow in their father's footsteps as they seek to silence their enemies and protect the family interests.

The Oscar-winning script was co-written by director Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo, the author of the original novel. While trimmed significantly from the novel the film still clocks in at two hours and forty-five minutes. The film progresses at a stately pace and features countless classic scenes.

Coppola's direction received a well-deserved Oscar nomination and so did Nino Rota's score (at least until it was deemed ineligible). Gordon Willis' cinematography is good (but not great) and the film's evocation of the 40's & 50's is both attractive and authentic.

As for the actors, Marlon Brando was rewarded with his second Best Actor Oscar for his iconic portrayal of Vito Corleone. Al Pacino was nearly as good in his role as Vito's youngest son but he had to settle for a nomination in the supporting category. He had good company, though, since James Caan and Robert Duvall were also nominated. Any one of these three performances would have been Oscar-worthy. There were also several memorable performances in smaller roles from the likes of John Cazale, Talia Shire, Sterling Hayden and others.

Is "The Godfather" the best American film of all time? Personally, I don't think so but I wouldn't rank it too far from the top. In any case, this is one of those films that every movie lover should see.
2010-10-05
Mind blowing drama, a must see
Taking a best-selling novel of more drive than genius (Mario Puzo's The Godfather), about a subject of something less than common experience (the Mafia), involving an isolated portion of one very particular ethnic group (first-generation and second-generation Italian-Americans), Francis Ford Coppola has made one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment.

The Godfather, which opened at five theaters here yesterday, is a superb Hollywood movie that was photographed mostly in New York (with locations in Las Vegas, Sicily, and Hollywood). It's the gangster melodrama come of age, truly sorrowful and truly exciting, without the false piety of the films that flourished forty years ago, scaring the delighted hell out of us while cautioning that crime doesn't (or, at least, shouldn't) pay.

It still doesn't, but the punishments suffered by the members of the Corleone Family aren't limited to sudden ambushes on street corners or to the more elaborately choreographed assassinations on thruways. They also include lifelong sentences of ostracism in terrible, bourgeois confinement, of money and power, but of not much more glory than can be obtained by the ability to purchase expensive bedroom suites, the kind that include everything from the rug on the floor to the pictures on the wall with, perhaps, a horrible satin bedspread thrown in.

Yet The Godfather is not quite that simple. It was Mr. Puzo's point, which has been made somehow more ambiguous and more interesting in the film, that the experience of the Corleone Family, as particular as it is, may be the mid-twentieth-century equivalent of the oil and lumber and railroad barons of nineteenth-century America. In the course of the ten years of intra-Mafia gang wars (1945-1955) dramatized by the film, the Corleones are, in fact, inching toward social and financial respectability.

For the Corleones, the land of opportunity is America the Ugly, in which almost everyone who is not Sicilian or, more narrowly, not a Corleone, is a potential enemy. Mr. Coppola captures this feeling of remoteness through the physical look of place and period, and through the narrative's point of view. The Godfather seems to take place entirely inside a huge, smoky, plastic dome, through which the Corleones see our real world only dimly.

Thus, at the crucial meeting of Mafia families, when the decision is made to take over the hard drug market, one old don argues in favor, saying he would keep the trade confined to blacks—"they are animals anyway."

This is all the more terrifying because, within their isolation, there is such a sense of love and honor, no matter how bizarre.

The film is affecting for many reasons, including the return of Marlon Brando, who has been away only in spirit, as Don Vito Corleone, the magnificent, shrewd old Corleone patriarch. It's not a large role, but he is the key to the film, and to the contributions of all of the other performers, so many actors that it is impossible to give everyone his due.

Some, however, must be cited, especially Al Pacino, as the college- educated son who takes over the family business and becomes, in the process, an actor worthy to have Brando as his father; as well as James Caan, Richard Castellano, Robert Duvall, Al Lettieri, Abe Vigoda, Gianni Russo, Al Martino, and Morgana King. Mr. Coppola has not denied the characters' Italian heritage (as can be gathered by a quick reading of the cast), and by emphasizing it, he has made a movie that transcends its immediate milieu and genre.

The Godfather plays havoc with the emotions as the sweet things of life—marriages, baptisms, family feasts—become an inextricable part of the background for explicitly depicted murders by shotgun, garrote, machine gun, and booby-trapped automobile. The film is about an empire run from a dark, suburban Tudor palace where people, in siege, eat out of cardboard containers while babies cry and get underfoot. It is also more than a little disturbing to realize that characters, who are so moving one minute, are likely, in the next scene, to be blowing out the brains of a competitor over a white tablecloth. It's nothing personal, just their way of doing business as usual.
2015-04-12
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